Just when the Windows 8 news started to dry up, Intel Software chief Renee James speaking to Bloomberg’s Dina Bass has provided us details to what Microsoft is planning. Quite a while back I had speculated that the two interfaces strategy Microsoft is planning, is a tablet play and keeps the desktop and tablet aligned, yet different.
Renee James has confirmed the following:
Microsoft planning multiple versions of next Windows OS
there will be a Windows 8 version optimized for tablet/mobile that will come in x86 and ARM versions.
there are 4 versions of Windows 8 for ARM chips. ARM Windows won’t run legacy apps but x86 will
The strategy ensures that all versions of Windows 8 have a different USP. Point 2 and 3 point that, Windows 8 ARM will be optimized for tablets but won’t be able to run legacy apps, at the same time there will be a x86 version that will be able to run them. My second speculation was that enterprise is one of the reasons why Microsoft wants to have Windows on tablets, for legacy support.
With this strategy, Microsoft has the enterprise and consumer market covered with Windows 8. Master stroke, Microsoft.
Intel may be the closest thing to a monopoly when it comes to the computer industry, but it has made no major headway when it comes to the mobile industry. ARM dominates the mobile processor market with its low power, efficient processor architecture designs. Almost all new smartphones are powered by an ARM processor. Intel has been trying to increase adoption of its Atom processors, but so far, they have only been majorly used in netbooks, not in smartphones or tablets.
Intel even partnered with Nokia on MeeGo, aiming to bring Intel processors to the mainstream, with MeeGo smartphones and tablets, but Nokia recently ditched Intel and MeeGo to go with Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 platform.
Well, in its earnings call today, Intel President and CEO, Paul Otellini announced that Intel was working on porting Android 3.0 Honeycomb to the x86 architecture.
“We’ve received the Android code the Honeycomb version of Android source code from Google, and we’re actively doing the port on that,” Otellini said.
“We expect to be able to ramp those [Honeycomb-based] machines over the course of this year for a number of customers. I would be very disappointed if we didn’t see Intel-based phones for sale 12 months from now”, he stated.
Intel is also working with “first tier notebook vendors” to build Intel powered tablets running the ported version of Android 3.0 Honeycomb. It will have tablet platforms which will run Windows, Android and MeeGo ready over the course of the year.
Remember OLPC ? It was the ambitious One Laptop Per Child project which aimed at providing low-cost, low-powered laptops to under-privileged children around the wold.
Arguably, OLPC’s XO Laptop was one of the first mainstream Netbooks, despite the fact that it was not commercially available to consumers for quite some time after it’s release.
At CES 2011 this year, OLPC finally declared their 3rd generation XO Laptop, christened XO 1.75 .
The XO 1.75 has Marvell’s ARM SoC. Marvell’s 610 Armada platform consists of an ARM based application processor in the 1 GHz range, capable of 1080p, full-HD encode, decode, and 3D graphics capability.
OLPC’s CTO, Edward McNierney, confirms OLPC’s strategy of pushing the PC/Laptop industry towards ARM support for lower power consumption and lower prices through increased competition and optimized SoC designs.
SoC chips are small i n size and are designed for mobile computing devices such as tablets and mobile phones. Qualcomm’s famous Snapdragon is an example of a SoC. At the demo, SoC from Qualcomm, Intel, Nvidia, Texas Instruments were shown running the next version of Windows.
Microsoft showed a 1080 HD video being played on these tiny chips and even connected a printer with Microsoft Office by updating the ARM driver for Windows.
Intel leads the processor market in terms of sales by a huge margin. With the success of the Core 2 Duo, and then the Core i7, Core i3 and Core i5 line of processors, AMD has been completely relegated to the sidelines.
However, when it comes to mobile, Intel is still trying to get a foothold in the processor market. The majority of mobile processors are based on the ARM platform, mainly because its architecture is much more power efficient, which is a very important requirement in smartphones. ARM based platforms are also being increasingly used in tablets, a relatively new market which Intel is desperately trying to corner.
With Microsoft’s latest move though, the fight may get even tougher for Intel. Microsoft may be planning to launch an ARM based version of Windows at CES 2011, according to a report by Bloomberg. Such a move would be very beneficial for Microsoft which is trying to make a dent in the tablet market, as well as ARM which will cement its position in the mobile processor segment.
It was less than a month ago that Nokia had announced the C7 and now the device has started shipping worldwide! The Nokia C7 is the mass-oriented version of the N8. The handset packs in a 3.5-inch CBD based AMOLED display with a resolution of 360×640. The handset has a very sleek look to it and is made up of stainless steel and glass.
The C7 runs is powered by a ARM11 680MHz processor and packs in 256MB of RAM along with 1GB of ROM and 8GB of internal memory. The C7 is the second handset after the N8 to run on Symbian’s latest version – Symbian^3. The back of the phone sports an 8MP fixed focus camera with dual-LED flash which is capable of recording videos in 720p resolution.
The device is expected to cost EUR 335 before taxes and subsidies.
Nokia has just released its next Symbian S60 v5 running smartphone the Nokia 5250. The Nokia 5250 will be the successor to the highly popular Nokia 5230. The phone features a 2.8-inch resistive touchscreen with nHD (360×640) resolution. The phone will be powered by the age-old ARM11 434Mhz processor and will pack in 128MB of RAM as well. The internal storage of the phone is a disappointingly low 51MB. The phone also supports microSD cards of up to 16GB.
The back of the phone will sport a 2MP camera at its back. It will lack Wi-Fi, GPS, and 3G thus limiting its connectivity options. However, the phone will come pre-installed with Guitar Hero 5 Mobile and Ovi Music Unlimited. Nokia quotes the battery life of the device at 18 days in standby or up to seven hours of talk time.
The Nokia 5250 is expected to start shipping from fourth quarter of this year, and will be priced at 115 Euros before taxes and subsidies. Here is the link to the full press release.
We had told you about the Nokia C7 nearly a monthand half month ago. The Nokia C7 will be a lower-priced sibling of the Nokia N8. The C7 will be the second handset from Nokia to run on Symbian^3. The handset will feature a 3.5’inch screen with nHD (360×640) resolution. The phone also has a microUSB port, and a 3.5mm audio jack.
The back of the phone features an 8MP camera, assisted by dual-LED flash for low-light photography. The Nokia C7 is made using the same material as the Nokia N97/N97 Mini. The phone also has a call end and a call receive key in the front, along with a menu key. The phone, in all probability, will be powered by an ARM processor, running at 680 MHz. The device should also pack in 256MB of RAM. The device will be powered by a mere 1200mAh battery. Hopefully, the battery life of the device won’t be disappointing.
Here is the walk through of the Nokia C7 :
The C7 will be announced by Nokia at the upcoming Nokia World in September.
After joining Linaro, Canonical has been actively trying to make running Ubuntu in ARM devices a better experience.
In this video, Jerone Young, Partner Engineer at Canonical talks about the challenges they are facing at Canonical in making Ubuntu powered ARM laptops and desktops a reality. He also talks about the challenges in realizing a full desktop experience on ARM Powered devices, including full and fast web browsing and full access to most of the most useful Ubuntu applications.
Finally, we have some information about the successor of the Motorola Droid the Droid 2. We gave you a picture of the Droid 2 keyboard a couple of weeks ago, and now here is the picture of the whole device. The device has a 3.7-inch display (No AMOLED), along with 8 GB of internal memory. An 8 GB memory card will also be present inside the retail box.
The TI OMAP3630 processor running at 750 MHz powers the Motorola Droid 2. This is basically the ARM Cortex A8 processor with a PowerVR SGX graphics core. The device in all probability should pack in 512MB of RAM. The camera of the phone has not been upgraded, and is still at 5MP. In all probability, the Droid 2 will be able to record videos at 720p resolution.
Now moving on to the sad part, the device lacks an HDMI port and a front facing video-call camera. A new version of MotoBlur is also onboard. The test unit was reported to be running Android 2.1, instead of Android 2.2. We expect the device to hit the retail store sometime in Q3 of this year.